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Finding a Dentist for a Coward

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How do I go about finding a dentist who caters to cowards? A family member has avoided the dentist's chair for five years now because she is pretty sure she suffers from panic attacks in the dentist's chair, She takes medication for high blood pressure, is uncomfortable being fully reclined while being worked on, is over 60 years of age and is now convinced that the only way she can get her teeth worked on is to be totally knocked out.

She was told five years ago that because she refuses to use her partial lower plate, her teeth are shifting and she is grinding down her front teeth, which need to be capped. As if you couldn't guess, the thought of having novacaine needles going through any portion of her hard palate makes her crazy!

The most recent problem is that she is now experiencing TMP (Temporomandibular Pain) discomfort - constant, low grade discomfort. She is not suffering from any cavity problems - yet - that I know of. Help! Where do I start?

Sandie

Recent Answers

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By Kim02/28/2011

There are dentists out there that actually do care. It only took me 34 years to find one. If you can find a dentist that uses the "Wand" (it's needle free!). Whew no more tears throughout the the dentist fixing teeth! Most dentist do not use the "wand" because it's a cost and will not put as much revenue in their pocket. Northwest Indiana go to DDS Nolbar! He really does cater to his patients!

By wayne10/19/2009

It sound like your friend has got the same problem I have. I am 23 and my teeth are really bad, but I just cannot go to the dentist. I have got to many bad memories, and the only way I think I can get my teeth done is being knocked out like I was last time. I had teeth out but that means if I want it done that way again I have to go back to the dentist, which I don't think I can do it again.

By Coward (Guest Post)01/22/2009

I agree with the previous responses. Except I will say that I am an otherwise successful adult who is a big baby about the dentist! I have tried a lot of dentists too, and while most of them have been tolerant of my phobia, none of them have done much to help me relax.

Many times I have had my teeth cleaned with tears streaming down my face. It is very embarassing and I tend to only have my teeth cleaned once every few years. Each time I leave swearing I will never put myself through it again. I, too, can hardly wait until all my teeth fall out and I can get a full set of dentures!

By lily (Guest Post)02/27/2008

The panic attack is probably because she's scared. period. I went today for a cleaning. First one in 4 years and it was a nightmare. Even the dentists who swear to cater to you, don't. I'd say get knocked out or just let your teeth fall out. That's where I'm at because they are heartless and deaf. They don't listen to a word you say and do whatever they want once you're in the chair. It's like torture. It is torture. I went in hopeful I'd found the right Dentist and came out in tears and I am no baby.

By (Guest Post)08/26/2005

There is more than one thing going on here.

First, is she having pain when she gets the injection? Some people have very bad pain from lidocaine, but most dentists don't believe them. The solution (pardon the pun) is lidocaine containing 10% bicarbonate. It is now available. Find a dentist that has heard of it and uses it.

Lidocaine is used to treat rapid heard rate in heart attacks, but epinephrine can certainly cause rapid heart rate, tiggering a panic attack. Epinephrine is only used to keep the lidocaine in the local area. Lidocaine comes with and without epinephrine, so make sure your dentist carries and uses the one without lidocaine. If the only time she has had a panic attack was at the dentist, perhaps the problem was only the epinephrine. It is not nice to surprise a 60-year-old ticker.

Maybe it's time for either LeMaze class (hahaha) or hypnosis classes, so she can handle what's going on. In addition, the dental assistant should be able to assist her in stress control during the procedure.

Start with a visit for a minor procedure using lidocaine, or just for an injection and cleaning with a stress-managment-friendly assistant.

Discuss all this with your chosen dentist and try your chosen appproach. At 60, the least amount of anaesthesia, the better. In any event, it's about time dentists listened to their patients.

By Dee [3]08/25/2005

she may very well be having a reaction to the lidocaine (novecain) it has a bit of epinephrin in it that can sometimes make your heart race. there are alternatives. most dentist now are more gentle in their practices.

By sandy (Guest Post)08/23/2005

i have heard several dentists in my area of baltimore say they cater to coward. but i would call around and ask. maybe even call her physician and ask them. they may be able to give her something before she goes. but i bet if you start calling from the phone book you will find a friendly office person that promises they cater to cowards.
i hope you find one.

By Crystal (Guest Post)08/23/2005

Some dentist in my area, Abilene, TX, offer Sedation Dentistry. I have seen commercials for it, so I guess you could call around and see if any dentists in your area offer this. From what I understand they give you a pill to take befvore your appointment and then more if you need them.

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